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Broccoli is one of the many crops introduced to the “new world” during the Columbian exchange, though It wasn’t until the early 20th century that most Americans ever saw this vegetable on their plates.

In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know about growing broccoli, including tips and frequently asked questions.

So, read on and learn all about it!

About Growing Broccoli

A close-up shot of a young head of broccoli that is light green and surrounded by large green leaves.

The practice of growing broccoli is thought to originate from Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean regions. We know that it was cultivated prior to and possibly even before the Roman empire.

Believe it or not, this vegetable was only introduced to the majority of the world during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Today, it is a staple vegetable sold at markets and grocery stores all over the globe.

Broccoli is best planted in the spring, however, it can also be planted in late winter. That said, it also grows all the way through the summer and may be harvested as many as three times. Each time you harvest it, it grows back even thicker.

Quick Broccoli Growing Information

How much light is needed:6 to 8 hours per day
How much water is needed:1 to 1.5 inches of water per week
Is it best to start with seeds or plants:Either
The best month to plant:Late winter or early spring
Preferred climate/temperature:Mediterranean zones but will grow in other climate conditions with proper care
Is indoor or outdoor growing better:Outdoors but can be grown indoors successfully
Do indoor plants need to be pollinated:No
Level of difficulty to grow:Not difficult
Plant height:18 to 24 inches
Time from planting to harvest:80 to 100 days if started from seeds, 55 to 85 days from transplants

Tips for Growing Broccoli

A ripe head of broccoli ready for harvesting (greenish yellow in color).

1. Feed with Liquid Nutrients When You Water

When you water your broccoli plants, make sure you add some liquid nutrients to the water first. It helps out a great deal because these plants are known to soak up nutrients from the soil faster than other species. That’s also why it’s best to plant broccoli in rich organic soil, to begin with.

2. Harvest Immediately

Unlike some garden plants, broccoli needs harvesting immediately the moment it is ripe and ready. That means, if it is left unharvested for even a few days it may start to bolt. After a week or two, it will definitely do so. When broccoli bolts, or flowers, the part you’d normally eat hardens and takes on a taste similar to wild mustard.

3. Try Different Types

Broccoli shares the same family group as kale and Brussel sprouts, hence, there is a wide variety of species to choose from. So, if you really enjoy this unique green vegetable, try a few types and find out which species grow the best in your garden (and which one tastes the best to you!).

Broccoli Growing FAQs

When Should I Plant Broccoli?

Believe it or not, the best time to plant this cold-hardy plant is during the late winter or early spring. That said, on average the plants require around 3 to 4 months to mature from seeds and 2 months to mature from transplants.

Does Broccoli Need Fertilizer?

Broccoli benefits from a strong dosage of fertilizer 3 to 4 weeks after planting from seeds, or 1 to 2 weeks after planting transplants. Alternatively, they also appreciate regularly fertilizing along with their water (in low dosages).

How Much Broccoli Comes from One Plant?

Broccoli, like many plants, grows back twice as thick when you prune it. You may cut it back as much as three times per growing season. Thus, if harvested properly, you may expect between 2 and 3 pounds of fresh produce from each individual plant.

Suggested Reading: How to Grow Radish: Gardening Guide

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